Courtesy of Joe Heller
With the prevalence of social hypermedia (Myspace, Instant Messenger, Facebook, Twitter) it seems as if we’ve continued on this trend of ‘globalization’ not only globally, but locally. That doesn’t make sense right? What I mean is- our lives and the lives of our friends are starting to become increasingly intertwined as we simultaneously integrate all aspects of our being with technology. (Think of the world shrinking- Globalization. This not only brings strangers from around the globe closer to us, but also our already-close-enough friends and family). Digg updates your Twitter which updates your Facebook and vice-versa*. Its Social (application) Recursion. An Infinite Loop.
At the same time, it seems like we no longer have a Myspace persona or an IRC persona.. they’re all bleeding together into an “Internet Persona”. Because of these ‘linkages’ in data, it seems that anyone can find out information about us just by following the data trail. Creepy right? Then why do we keep pumping our precious life stories into these social media websites? Is it that we realize our lives are fleeting and we’re trying to leave a footprint albeit digital? Are Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter really so engaging that it is impossible to disconnect ourselves from them? Eventually will we spend more time online than in-person?! And then never want to come back to the real world after rescuing an alien race and fighting an epic battle for a girl resulting in the abandonment of man-kind!? Crazy.
We may THINK we’re updating our page on “what we’re doing”, but what we’re really doing is updating our page. We’re recursing. When will it end? Whats the exit condition? This is Web 2.0. Web 3.0 promises to be even more integrated into our lives.. only we wont manually be updating our Facebook: context-aware smartphones will do it for us automatically. We’ll be eating dinner at a fancy restaurant and all our friends will know what we ordered, and who we’re with. We’re not that far off now. I think only then can we get away from this “social recursion” – when we’re not actively taking part in it we can continue to live our lives without our thumbs on the Tweet-pad.
YouTube, Twitter and Facebook finally announced that they will be integrating all of their services into one application. Its called You-Twit-Face.